Dr. Miriam Galindo
Miriam Galindo has built a two-decade career based in reaching out to help individuals and families heal from challenging and traumatic life experiences. Formerly a professional social worker in Santa Ana, California, she now directs her own private practice as a licensed psychologist. Based in Irvine, Miriam Galindo additionally provides the Orange County Superior Court with expert advice in family court cases.
In a notable case in 2014, Dr. Galindo served the court by providing a 730 evaluation of the parenting practices and mental health of Tamra Barney, known to TV viewers for her participation in the reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County. Ms. Barney was at the time involved in a custody dispute with her ex-husband, Simon, and planned to put the couple’s three children in front of the cameras for the series.
Based on Dr. Galindo’s recommendation, a judge ruled that the Barneys’ children should not be permitted to appear on the show. Ms. Barney did not contest the court’s decision.
The participation of children in reality shows has become a controversial issue. Many experts and members of the public have commented that the associated stress and the pressures to perform in front of an audience are detrimental to children’s mental health. Professionals have additionally noted that the sudden fame that comes with being on a reality show can just as suddenly evaporate, leaving children frustrated, depressed, and with little other means of defining their self-worth.
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
Miriam Galindo of Irvine, California, a former social worker and a licensed psychologist focusing on family therapy during divorce, also assists the Orange County Superior Court system as an expert advisor. Her 20-year practice has often involved working with at-risk children and families. Miriam Galindo’s wide-ranging experience has enabled her to serve her clients with both insight and compassion.
There are a number of popular books for lay readers on the topic of children’s experience of trauma. One of the most popular–and one of the most widely praised by professionals–is The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook. Author Bruce D. Perry established the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, with the mission of improving the lives and prospects of children who have survived extreme trauma. A decade ago, he published the book, a series of case studies from his own practice.
Reviews have noted the book’s harrowing, intricately detailed descriptions of how physical and emotional abuse blighted the lives of children in a variety of circumstances. In many of these cases, experts diagnosed severe forms of deprivation-induced cognitive, social, and emotional impairments as a result of trauma. But one of the key takeaways for many readers is Perry’s demonstrations of how compassion, human interaction, and patient, repeated re-patterning of experience can result not only in intellectual blossoming, but also in rich and happy lives.
A private practice psychologist and licensed clinical social worker based in Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo has a private practice working with children and families dealing with the aftermath of high-conflict divorce. Well-versed in the psychology of young children, Miriam Galindo has trained in counseling special needs children as well as their families.
It is estimated that by age 18, one-third of children will have some type of disability. While the child may struggle to live with a diagnosis, the entire family is affected. Many families benefit greatly from counseling during this difficult time, as the parents are the primary caregivers and need to be trained in how to properly handle the needs of their child.
Children diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or any other behavioral disorder can be helped greatly by parents who take an active role in their life and healing. Often in therapy, parents can become co-therapists or teachers of new skills, using techniques to promote better behavior in children. Reducing family stress can put a stop to a child’s disruptive behavior.
Leveraging a PhD in psychology from the Trinity College of Graduate Studies, and a master’s degree in social work from California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Miriam Galindo founded her private practice in Irvine, California, in 2004. In her role as a licensed social worker, Dr. Miriam Galindo focuses on therapies designed specifically to help young children in traumatic situations who are at risk, such as play and art therapy.
Research has shown that the children of Veterans with PTSD have an increased risk for behavioral, and interpersonal, and academic problems. Understanding the effects of PTSD on children can be a critical part of treatment and can positively impact how families cope with difficult situations. Common PTSD symptoms include re-experiencing traumatic events, avoiding people and places to the point of isolation, and high anxiety levels, which manifest as difficulty sleeping, being easily startled, and extreme irritability.
Children who witness these events and symptoms tend to respond to a parent’s PTSD symptoms in specific ways. They can over-identify and begin to mimic the feelings and behaviors of the parent, they can act as the rescuer by filling in for the parent and taking on the adult role, or they can become emotionally uninvolved, leading to issues at school, anxiety, and depression.
Coping with Divorce
A licensed clinical psychologist and social worker, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been part of an approved panel of experts for Orange County Superior Court since 2005. Dr. Miriam Galindo has been able to work with children and their families through many different aspects of a divorce, and she has a strong understanding of the psychological effects of divorce on a child.
Most of the effects of divorce on a child have less to do with the custodial situation, or even the change in environment, as the uncertainty involved in the divorce process. The presentation of new issues such as parental conflict and the lack of a unified front between parents can be difficult for children. Initial adjustment for children typically takes about two years.
Younger children tend to blame themselves and often imagine their parents getting back together. Older children, meanwhile, see the breakdown of trust and unity in their family relationships and become more independent. In many cases, it also has a negative effect on their first serious romantic relationships, which they expect to fail.
Negative effects of divorce can be mitigated with loving communication from both parents as well as reliable, consistent communication. Children whose divorced parents can maintain amiable relations in front of the child and make time for the child’s needs are more likely to adjust well.
National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers
Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Throughout her career as licensed clinical social worker and psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has completed a number of continuing education and advanced training programs, including Forensic Interviewing of Children through the National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers (NACCFI).
A self-paced e-learning course, Forensic Interviewing of Children is designed to help professionals learn the proper procedures and interview techniques involved in effectively questioning children, whether they are victims or witnesses of a crime.
Analyzed and reviewed by more than 1,500 practicing child forensic interviewers, the Forensic Interviewing of Children course features 40 hours of online training designed as part of the curriculum needed to qualify for child forensic interviewer certification. Other portions of the curriculum include 16 hours of peer review practicum and 32 hours of competency training.
Licensed psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo has years of experience working with at-risk children and families. Today, Dr. Miriam Galindo treats juvenile patients in her work as a play therapist.
Play therapy is a growing form of mental health treatment for children of all ages, though the technique is said to be most effective for patients between the ages of 3 and 12. In play therapy, children are presented with a variety of toys designed to encourage creative fantasy play as well as toys that make it possible to demonstrate scenarios from real life.
Play therapists work to create a supportive bond with the children in a safe environment, allowing the children to feel comfortable enough to use the toys as a means of communicating their feelings symbolically through play. This mode of communication may allow the children to express feelings, fears, and ideas that they do not yet have the verbal language to explain.
Play therapy is often used to help children who live through traumatic experiences, including domestic violence, grief, disfigurement, and sexual abuse. Parents often seek the help of a play therapist when their child begins to display unusual traits or behaviors, including anxiety, aggression, social difficulties, and poor school performance.